Pyongyang, September 9 (IANS) North Korea on Friday said it “successfully” conducted a nuclear test, its fifth and the “most powerful” so far, evoking strong condemnation from the global powers including US, China and Russia.
The North Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station said the country carried out a nuclear explosion test to check the capacity of a nuclear warhead and it will “continue to strengthen our capacity to bolster our nuclear force”.
The neighbouring South Korea’s Defence Ministry official quoted by Yonhap said that the military was analysing details on what type of nuclear material was used.
An artificial quake of magnitude 5.3 was detected around 9.30 a.m. at North Korea’s main Punggye-ri nuclear test site.
The official said the tremor felt after the test put the yield of this test at about 10 kilotons, which is believed to be Pyongyang’s most powerful nuclear detonation to date.
According to Yonhap, Pyongyang conducted the nuclear test to mark the country’s 68th National Day on September 9.
The test marked the fifth nuclear detonation by North Korea following the first in October 2006, the second in May 2009, the third in February 2013 and the fourth in January this year.
South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.
President Park Geun-hye, who is cutting short her overseas trip to Laos, condemned the test, saying that its provocation would only invite stronger international sanctions, deeper isolation and hasten its self-destruction.
The US President Barack Obama warned that the latest test will have serious consequences. Terming the test as a “provocation” the President reiterated that Washington was committed to the security of its allies in Asia and the world.
China slammed it saying the country was “firmly opposed” to the test.
The International Atomic Energy Agency also denounced the test, terming it a “clear violation” of UN Security Council resolutions and a “troubling and regrettable” action.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said North Korea must be given a very strong message about complying with the resolutions.
Germany summoned the North Korean ambassador in Berlin after the test in “violation of UN resolutions”.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Steffen Seibert condemned the test and said it was an irresponsible action by North Korea to destabilise region.
Pakistan condemns the test and says “it was in violation of the United Nation Security Council Resolutions”.
Islamabad calls upon Pyongyang to comply with all the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and refrain from actions which undermine peace and stability in the region.
Indian Security analyst C. Uday Bhaskar said the choice of the day for the test was not accidental as the North Korean regime was founded on September 9, 1948.
“Authoritarian regimes tend to use such temporal symbolism and combine it with emotive nationalism,” said Bhaskar, who is Director, Society for Policy Studies.
Britain termed the nuclear test a matter of “grave concern” and said it would consult with international partners on providing a “robust response”.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said North Korea’s nuclear test was “unacceptable” and would be protested.
“It is simply unacceptable. We must strongly protest against it,” Abe said, adding that Japan would liaise closely on the matter with the US and South Korea.
The European Union also denounce the test saying that it was a “grave threat to the peace and security”.
The test also comes days after the UNSC condemned the launch on Monday of three ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan.
North Korea is banned by the UN from any tests of nuclear or missile technology and has been hit by five sets of UN sanctions since its first test in 2006.
Pyongyang has conducted a series of ballistic missile launches since top North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gave an order on March 15 to test a nuclear warhead and ballistic rockets capable of carrying the warhead “in a short time”.
U.N. Security Council to condemn North Korea nuclear test
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council meets behind closed doors on Friday to discuss condemning North Korea’s latest nuclear test and whether the 15-member body should punish the reclusive state with more sanctions, diplomats said.
North Korea conducted its fifth and biggest nuclear test on Friday and said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile, ratcheting up a threat that its rivals and the United Nations have been powerless to contain.
“I think we should condemn it first of all and then we will see what we can do,” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters.
North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 and analysts of the Korean peninsula said sanctions have been imposed on almost everything possible. In March, the Security Council tightened sanctions to further isolate impoverished North Korea in response to its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February.
Pyongyang has also carried out a string of ballistic missile tests this year in defiance of U.N. sanctions, which have all been condemned by the Security Council.
In the unanimously adopted March resolution, the council expressed “its determination to take further significant measures in the event of a further DPRK (North Korea) nuclear test or launch.”
British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said there were a series of steps the Security Council could take to respond to Friday’s nuclear test.
“First of all there must be full implementation of the existing sanctions, secondly there could be additional names added to the existing sanctions regime … and thirdly there could be a tightening up and a strengthening of the sanctions regime,” Rycroft told reporters ahead of the council meeting.